From Fedora Project Wiki

SPDX License Phase 4 (The last one)


The fourth phase of transition from using Fedora's short names for licenses to SPDX identifiers in the License: field of Fedora package spec files. This phase focuses on migrating the remaining packages.


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Current status

Detailed Description

This is follow-up of Phase 3. During this phase, all remaining packages should be migrated to use SPDX license identifiers in the License: field of the package spec file.

So far, package maintainers have been updating their packages in accordance with the guidance provided at and filing issues in the fedora-license-data repo. Miroslav has been tracking how many packages that have been updated. Given the large number of packages in Fedora, this progress is good, but slow.

In this phase, all remaining packages will be converted automatically when possible. When human analysis is required then Bugzilla entry will be created. All these Bugzillas will block tracking bug to easily find these issues.


See feedback section of Phase 1

Discussions on mailing list:


  • license-fedora2spdx tool uses mapping of legacy Fedora short names to SPDX identifiers using the fedora-license-data to suggest SPDX identifiers. Where there is an apparent one-to-one mapping, the package maintainer could simply update the License field: and move on.
  • for many packages, particularly packages that use "umbrella" legacy short names that may refer to a large set of unrelated or loosely-related licenses, further inspection will be needed. Currently, Fedora documentation provides sparse advice on how to do this inspection and thus, a range of methods are used.

Benefit to Fedora

The use of standardized identifiers for licenses will align Fedora with other distributions and facilitates efficient and reliable identification of licenses. Depending on the level of diligence done in this transition, Fedora could be positioned as a leader and contributor to better license information upstream (of Fedora).


  • Change Owners:
    • Continue adding newly found licenses to fedora-license-data and to list.
    • Continue to report progress
    • Automatically convert packages in several bulks using proven packager rights. These changes will be announced in advance on devel mailing list.
    • When the automatic conversion is impossible, Change Owners will create Bugzilla entry asking package maintainers to migrate the package.
  • Other developers:
    • All packages (during the package review) should use the SPDX expression. - this is redundant as this has already been approved since Phase 1, but it should be reminded.
    • Migrate the existing License tag from a short name to an SPDX expression.
  • Release engineering: nothing
  • Policies and guidelines: all done in previous phases
  • Trademark approval: N/A (not needed for this Change)
  • Alignment with Objectives:

Upgrade/compatibility impact

License strings are not used anything in run time. This change will not affect the upgrade or runtime of Fedora.

During the transition period, developer tools like rpminspect, licensecheck, etc. may produce false negatives. And we have to define a date where we flip these tools from old Fedora's short names to the SPDX formula.

How To Test

See How to test section of Phase 1

User Experience

Users should be able to use standard software tools that audit licenses. E.g. for Software Bills of Materials.


No other dependencies.

Contingency Plan

  • Contingency mechanism: There will be no way back. We are already beyond of point to return. We are heading to explore strange new worlds... to boldly go where no man has gone before.
  • Contingency deadline: Beta freeze. But it is expected that not all packages will be converted by that time and the change will continue in the next release.
  • Blocks release? No. This change has no impact on runtime of any package.


Allowed Licenses

Update existing packages

Release Notes

In Fedora 41, all RPM packages use SPDX license identifiers as a standard.